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Old Jerusalem (Mission and 26th) the reald deal

Born and raised in Israel, I must agree with Amy.

The Hummus is top notch, the best I had in the US, though I had few that came close. Babaganoush was very solid, and definitely the Turkish Salad (spicy sauce) is noteworthy.

Dec 29, 2007
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Mediterranean Spirit on Polk St., SF?

As much as I agree that it is hard to get good Hummus outside of the middle east, I'm extremely happy with the options at "Old Jerusalem". Sadly I didn't manage to eat at Mediterranean Spirit so I can't compare. But the mission version is very similar to what you can get in the old city, it's is the "heavy" version ,i.e. you can flip the plate upside down without losing anything.., but real Hummus lovers (I was born and raised in Israel) would really appreciate it.

Dec 29, 2007
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Banh Khot @ Ngoc Mai (SF)

My wife and I went to Ngoc Mai this afternoon, the Banh Khot was pretty good, but really pales in comparison to Vung Tao's version.

The dish was sufficiently different, it was only fried, the shell was to hard, and the filling lacked this nice coconut flavor Vung Tao does so well.

My wife had Bun Rieu, which she said was OK, definitely better than Hunk Ky, but not as good as Milpitas.

I tried another Hue special, which I can't remember it's name. It actually seemed more like a Thai dish than anything else.

Overall Ngoc Mai wasn't that memorable.

Aug 27, 2006
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Banh Khot @ Ngoc Mai (SF)

Vung Tau's Banh Khot is steamed first and then fried to get this crispy shell.

There are very few places that serve this dish, so I'm glad to catch this thread, and I think we are on our way to try Ngoc Mai.

I have been to Vung Tao several times after they reponed, the food is still good, especially Banh Khot, just pricier

Aug 26, 2006
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Authentic Bun Cha in bay area?

I'd agree that Bodega's basic ingredients are really of high quality. Their grilled pork is excellent. But to me the most important thing is the flavor of the broth, and that's why I prefer Turtle Tower. Their patties are very tasty, but their grilled pork is of lower quality or just too dry.

Aug 26, 2006
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Authentic Bun Cha in bay area?

Nah, met my wife in the bay area.

As for Turtle Tower's Pho quality , it was documented couple years ago in the Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

Aug 26, 2006
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area

Authentic Bun Cha in bay area?

Bodega bistro, as someone already pointed out has a pretty decent Bun Cha. BUT the best one in the bay area IMHO must be Turtle Tower on 631 Larkin, SF which is half a block away from Bodega.(http://www.sfstation.com/turtle-tower...

)

They have excellent Pho thinks my Vietnamese wife, but I only care about Bun, and as soon as I discovered the Hanoi version that is the only thing I eat.

Vung Tao in SJ is certainly a great place for Vietnamese food, and their Bun Cha Hanoi is very solid.

The thing with Turtle Tower is the sauce they use for the pork, it is sooo good.

Disclaimer: I'm a white boy born in Israel, so what the hell do I know...

Aug 26, 2006
lipko in San Francisco Bay Area